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Places of interest

Jose Marti's House or "El Abra" Farm "Punta del Este" Caves
"Largo del Sur" Cay "El Indio" Cave
American Cementery "Carapachibey" Ligh-house
Internacional Diving Centers "Nuestra Sra de los Dolores" Church
"Del Lanier" Swamp "Jones'" Jungle
Crocodile breeding Local Museum
Turtle Breeding "Bibijagua" beach
"Finlay's" Cave Model prision

Cayo Largo del Sur

Cayo Largo del SurCayo Largo is located in the Canarreos Archipelago, south of the island of Cuba and belongs to the special municipality Isla de la Juventud.

The distance from Havana is 177 km and 135 km from Nueva Gerona, the provincial capital.

Cayo Largo has a total area of ​​37 square kilometres as a of long and narrow island, in its widest side, it reaches 6 km and in the narrowest just one. Its beaches along its 27 kilometers of coastline, among the most important ones are: Lindaman, Sirena , Los Cocos and Paraiso. The Key has one of the best preserved seabeds of the planet, according to National Geographic magazine.

Cayo Largo del SurThe Key has an international airport, Vilo Acuña

Cayo Largo, which takes its name from its geography, first appears in the reports of the Captains General of the Island in the seventeenth century, however, recent research shows that it had been first discovered by pre-Columbian Indians in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

During recent archaeological explorations, it has been established that the first inhabitants of the key were the "Guayabos blancos," descendants of the Siboney culture, the Guayabos, were good sailors and lived on fishing and hunting. They knew how to make fire and lived outdoors; the complex cave paintings found in Punta del Este were made by them.

It has also been discovered that the Admiral Christopher Columbus on his second trip to Cuba visited the cay on their way to the island of San Juan, La Evangelista (now Isla de la juventud) and the Bay of Jagua (Now Cienfuegos Bay ).

Cayo Largo del SurBut what is more attractive historically about the key, is the use of this land by the most famous pirates and privateers who sailed the seas, one example of this are: John Hawkins and his periodic visits from 1565 accompanied by the "Terror of the Seas" Francis Drake, the long stay in the same base of operations of the French Jean Laffite and Latrobe in 1819, and the well-known Henry Morgan as he was plundering Puerto príncipe in 1666 and buried their treasures in this location.

Cayo Largo has a fairly moderate tropical climate; characterized mainly by warm temperatures, as customary of these area (Caribbean Sea) pleasant winds usually blows and it is cool and pleasant by night.

Its temperatures range from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius all year round.

Its flora is mainly mangroves and coconut trees, although palm trees, jasmine, Pine Machos, ferns and wild flowers are also found.

Cayo Largo del SurTerrestrial fauna is characterized by small birds of colourful plumage and beautiful singing as the Rosacoli, and the Parrot, also in the mangroves curious specimens as the Carta Cuba, the Colibri or Zunzún and Cuban Woodpecker can be seen. Also you can see the Seagulls, Cranes and Pelicans from the area. Cayo Largo has a large population of Cuban iguanas, exotic lizard.

In its rich seabed inhabit a wide variety of turtles as the Carey Turtle and the Caguama turtle. Also there are thousands of varieties of colorful fish, dolphins and shellfish. It owns some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the country.

Cayo Largo has an excellent abundance of hotels and other infrastructure, which gives it international prestige, with the presence of leading hotel chains.

For diving enthusiasts, Key Largo, has a well-built infrastructure, with 33 dive sites, considered as unique by several journals.

Cayo Largo also has a modest Navy connected to the famous international diving centre, Colony. In its dive sites, the Cuban Deborah Andoyo has repeatedly broken the World Record of diving with and without Ballast.

In addition to the main attractions, the beaches and water sports, excursions by yachts and little boats can be made to the near by Keys as Cayo Rico, Cayo Iguana and Cayo Cantiles. You can also enjoy swimming with sea turtles and dolphins in the protected areas.

© Isla de la Juventud 2011
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